Boxer TV Ireland
|Private company limited by shares|
Dublin, Ireland Boxer DTT Limited|
Stockholm, Sweden Boxer TV-Access AB
Dublin, Ireland Communicorp
Dublin, Ireland BT Ireland
Copenhagen, Denmark Boxer TV Danmark
Per Norman – CEO of the Board of Boxer AB |
Crister Fritzson – President of the Board of Boxer AB
Lucy Gaffney – Chairperson of Communicorp Group Ltd
Patrick Halpenny -chief executive of Communicorp Group Ltd
|Products||Unlikely to commence trading, had planned to offer a digital terrestrial television service|
Boxer was a joint venture between Boxer TV Access AB, now owned ultimately by the Government of Sweden via Teracom (3I recently sold their stake to Teracom in Boxer AB), and Denis O'Brien's Communicorp Group Limited specifically established, with the support of BT Ireland, to promote, support and drive take-up of DTT in Ireland. They had been awarded in principle three multiplex contracts, for multiplexes (A, B,C). (As with all BCI licences, the operating company only holds contracts, the actual broadcasting licences being issued by the Commission for Communications Regulation to the BCI). Raidió Teilifís Éireann will hold one further multiplex licence intended mainly for free-to-air services.
However, on 20 April 2009 the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland confirmed that Boxer had withdrawn its application to operate the digital terrestrial television multplexes in Ireland. In the absence of a contract, the company is extremely unlikely to ever commence trading.
Boxer received in principle the conditional contract for Muxes 2–4 (A-C). They beat off strong competition from two other consortia to win the 12-year contract. These two were Easy TV made up of RTÉ Commercial Enterprises & Liberty Global Incorporated (parent of UPC Ireland) and OneVision which is made up of Setanta Sports, TV3 Ireland, Arqiva and Eircom. On 20 April 2009, the BCI revealed that OneVision had been the second placed applicant and that following Boxer's withdrawal, it intended to ascertain whether it was still interested in operating the DTT multiplexes.
Boxer's business plan submitted to the Commission detailed a service on the following lines.
Free to air "Saorview" channels:
- RTÉ One
- RTÉ One +1 (proposed)
- RTÉ Two
- RTÉ Three (proposed) – Timeshares during weekends with RTÉ Sport
- RTÉ News Now
- RTÉ Sport (proposed) – Timeshares during weekdays with RTÉ Three
- RTÉ HD (proposed)
- Irish Film Channel
- Houses of the Oireachtas Channel
- The Den – Timeshares with RTÉ Two from 6am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday and from 7am to 1pm Saturdays
- Two Tube – Timeshares with RTÉ Two from 5.30pm to 7pm (Monday to Friday)
- Cúla 4 – Timeshares with TG4 from 7am to 7pm
- Property TV (proposed)
- Women's TV (proposed)
The "Boxer Starter Pack" includes 7 channels for €9.99 per month (provisional):
The "Boxer Pack" includes the Starter Pack and 11 channels for €22.99 per month (provisional):
- Sky One
- sky LIVING
- Sky News
- Film 4
- MTV Ireland (time-share)
- Nickelodeon Ireland (time-share)
- Disney Channel
- Setanta Ireland
- BBC Ireland (new channel composed of BBC 3, 4, CBBC and CBeebies it would also require more participation than normal from BBC)
- ITV Ireland (new channel composed of ITV 2, 3 and 4 it would also require more participation than normal from ITV)
Two "Premium Packs" for €24.99 each per month:
- Three sports channels from either Sky Sports, Setanta Sports or rightsholders.
- Three movie channels from Sky Movies, UPC or rightsholders.
Boxer pay features might have included "pay as you go", "plug and play" installation and a selection of portable card options for different customer requirements.
Some commentators point to potential media concentration conflicts due to Communicorp involvement in radio and the Irish Independent Newspaper as shareholder in receiving competition regulatory approval. However, Boxer did not intend to produce content, but rather run a platform, so would have argued that such concern does not currently arise in its current business model.
A national information campaign for Irish DTT will be carried out by the DCENR. Had Boxer launched, it had proposed to use mostly TV and Radio advertisements making use of Communicorp's group of radio channels and via promotion in retailers large and small using commission sales and potentially travelling information roadshows.
End of contract negotiations
According to an article in the Irish Independent on 26 February 2009, there could be further delays in a launch of Pay DTT slated for late 2009. Boxer had not completed contract with RTÉ NL regarding equipment and the contract for the license with the BCI is not yet concluded leaving a little unclarity regarding pay DTT launch date. According to the article however, "While there is an obvious synergy between the commercial and public aspects, the department expects RTÉ to deliver on the 2007 (Broadcasting) Act obligations (to achieve analogue switch-off by 2012) and to ensure the project does not lose its momentum," informed the Department of Communications to the newspaper article's author.
Thus at least with the rollout continuing with more transmitters starting test transmissions for DTT the Free-to-air launch looks at least on-target. Whether FTA DTT gets formal public marketed launch or not is the open question but without doubt FTA DTT will be receivable at least in test form and odds on are that free-to-air DTT will get a public launch, with or without pay DTT launch.
On 20 April 2009, the BCI announced that Boxer had ended negotiations on the DTT contract without a successful outcome. Boxer DTT confirmed this on their website and wished the BCI well in reaching DTT objectives. Following One Vision's protracted and unsuccessful negotiations following Boxer's widthrawal, the BAI, its successor regulator on 30 April 2010, now intends to establish whether the third placed consortium, Easy TV, is still interested in the DTT multiplex operator's contract.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 October 2009. Retrieved 2010-05-16. BCI confirms Boxer decision to withdraw application for DTT multiplex contracts
- Digital TV licences won by O'Brien consortium – The Irish Times – Tue, Jul 22, 2008
- Boxer pulls out of DTT contract – RTÉ – 20 April 2009
- BCI :: Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT)
- Acquisition of Programme Material
- Easy TV commercial DTT Application form, see page 68.
- http://www.bci.ie/DTT/easy_tv/easy_app.pdf EasyTV Bid Submission, page 65
- Boxer DTT faces tough fight under competition rules
- Delays give mixed signals on the future of commercial DTT – Irish, Business – Independent.ie
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Article regarding pay DTT license clarity
- Statement on Behalf of Boxer DTT
- Boxer in Ireland – Boxer
- – DETERMINATION OF MERGER NOTIFICATION M/09/003- Competition Authority-